An encounter with a priceless botanical gem
Unexpectedly encountering a thing of beauty swells the soul.
When booking a holiday home in west Cork for the annual sortie with the sister, I didn't take much notice of its name, other than that it was something Woods. Past experience has taught me that a Park is often more of a haggard and a wood commonly turns out to a few straggly saplings.
We headed out the N22 from Cork then across rolling hills to the most landward point of Bantry Bay, Ballylickey where we turned right towards Ardnagashel Woods.
Swinging seaward in the entrance, my heart lifted. Mature woodland flanked the avenue on both sides.
Unpacking done, we headed out on foot down the gravelled roadway to what we, oh-so-intelligently, surmised would lead us to the shoreline passing, on the way, an ash, the height of which I have never seen.
After a sharp descent, we arrived at a small pebble beach. We pushed on along a narrow woodland path where the vegetation was so lush that we couldn't help feeling a white rabbit in a waistcoat would, momentarily, pop out of a hole.
There were magnificent trees - native and otherwise - everywhere, obviously a planned development.
I love trees and the larger and grander, the better.